Milestones in Ideas

This page will collect info about the transitions of ideas held by Hebrew/Judiasm thru Christianity regarding an afterlife.

From Dust to Dust

GENESIS 3:19 – By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

The Concept of Sheol

From Bart Ehram’s book Peter Paul and MM page 119.

The idea that there would be a future resurrection in which dead bodies were brought back to life came into existence only a couple of centuries before Paul and Jesus. It arose among Jews who were trying to explain how this world could be such a cesspool of suffering, even for the people of God, if God was the one who was ultimately in control of it. Their solution was that God might not seem to be in charge of this world, but he ultimately was, and he would demonstrate his control at the end, when all the forces of evil and the people who sided with them would face judgment for their opposition to God and his purposes—even dead people. At the end of this evil age, the dead would be raised, and those who sided with God would be treated to eternal bliss; those who sided with the powers of evil, and thrived as a result, would be subjected to eternal torment. God would have the last word, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop him. We have seen that this was the teaching of Jesus. It was also the belief of other apocalypticists of his day, including Paul.

Dr. James Tabor from this video – Job 14:7-10 states how it was then and then 13-15 how it should be. The idea in this passage leads to the idea that all go to Sheol until the wrath is past.

7 “For there is hope for a tree,
    if it is cut down, that it will sprout again
    and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grows old in the earth
    and its stump dies in the ground,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
    and put forth branches like a young plant.
10 But mortals die and are laid low;
    humans expire, and where are they?
11 As waters fail from a lake
    and a river wastes away and dries up,
12 so mortals lie down and do not rise again;
    until the heavens are no more, they will not awake
    or be roused out of their sleep.
13 O that you would hide me in Sheol,
    that you would conceal me until your wrath is past,
    that you would appoint me a set time and remember me!
14 If mortals die, will they live again?
    All the days of my service I would wait
    until my release should come.
15 You would call, and I would answer you;
    you would long for the work of your hands.

Psalms 88

For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;
    I am like those who have no help,
like those forsaken among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,

Psalms 139

Where can I go from your spirit?
    Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
    if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
    and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and night wraps itself around me,”[a]
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is as bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

Post Resurrection Parosia did not arrive

Rome adopted Christianity late 4th century and defined the Canon

The Protestant Reformation began with Martin Luther and a bible the common person could read.

The enlightenment in the late 19th century combined with the apocalyptic fervor beginning with Miller.